Problem with boot loader - no choice but on MBR - I wonder why
Linux ditro! Plese donít force GRUB on MBR! Give us a choice!
I am so unhappy when a distribution forces to install GRUB/LILO in MBR and leaves out the choice to install on PBR of / or /boot partition. This is a serious mistake! This will even rule out options for work around with any commercial boot loader such as System Commander in the following scenario.
Most of PC today comes with a SATA II disk channel and an ATA133 channel for DVD/CD. Their boot order can be remapped with BIOS, meanwhile some OS has fixed hierarchy when an OS probes into physical PCI-E root bridge and creates own block device table like c0t0d0p0 (controller-target-disk-partition map). With this changeable hierarchy, it would cause problem booting all Unix like OS without help of 3rd party boot manager when one changes block device mapping. Even with advanced Unix server style mapping with controller ID and target root ID they still have to rely on GRUB no matter how intelligent OS itself is. Dell and Gateway would be seriously affected by this problem. I was not even aware of the mixed SATA/ATA problem until very recently since I never worked anything else but pure SCSI disks like universally trouble free and flexible Seagate Cheetahs (these top performers still come with manual jumper pins).
Considering the space constraint and of non-TSR requirement, I do not expect GRUB to automatically re-edit grub.conf and menu.lst files like some commercial boot loader already capable to do so in FAT16/32, HPFS and NTFS for OS/2 and Windows type OS because these OS loader are not TSR but yet occupies 20 to 30 MB resource files and work space directory in a FAT16 partition. It runs multiple binaries for 1/10 of second before menu starts when it senses change in disk hierarchy or partition signature. Even such boot loader can create a catastrophic problem if you mistakingly enabled int13 hook for more than 7 disk set or more than 2 disk channels unless you have got a clustering rom on HBA.
Let GRUB just to manage /boot in each OS (of course multiple grub installation would be necessary) and let commercial boot loader do its job. Commercial boot loaders will not be able to chain GRUB nor find kernel location if it is installed anywhere other than PBR.
If anyone know how to go back and re-install GRUB in PBR, That would be a great help. I can edit fstab, mtab, grub.conf menu.lst from CD boot and OS loaded to a ram disk then mounting any partition without any problem. I also know how to put back 512 byte MBR/PBR/EPBR pages from saved images thereof from floppy using dd or debug or disksave because I keep CHS table and sector number records on a spreadsheet per disk basis.